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There are several areas in which I continuously work to improve. The main area is leadership. When I joined my family-owned business I realized that in order to earn authority within the organization, I needed to have my ideas approved at the management meetings. I had no track record and, therefore, did not receive sufficient support for my ideas. I then adopted a framework I read about in the book “The Theory of Persuasion” and started preparing the ground for each meeting by first presenting the idea to each manager separately and gaining their buy-in. This strategy helped me build an internal network and create coalitions, and greatly improved my ability to make an impact on the organization.

Two years later, I had another growth opportunity as a leader when one of our clients told me that he was dissatisfied with our production rate. Meetings I held with all employees to discuss ways to solve this problem failed to have significant impact. I did some research and learned about “the meaning effect”, where the work rate goes up when workers understand the meaning of the project. So, I started gathering all of the production employees for weekly 15-minute presentations, during which I showed them the effects on people of the final product. For example, I illustrated how many lives were saved during the previous year thanks to a medical device we produced. Eight months later, I examined the reports and discovered, to my delight, that these steps had improved our production rate by 14%.

Another aspect I have developed is my teamwork capabilities. During my military service, I noticed that under stressful situations, I did not delegate enough to my team. I noticed that I took on myself the lion’s share of the work in order to have it completed faster. When the situation was calmer, I reflected on my behavior and understood that I could not continue to act in this manner. I started giving my subordinates more responsibility and realized that effective teamwork fosters creativity and learning, results in higher efficiency and builds trust with mutual support.

Following conversations with ESADE Alumni, I realized I could play a significant role in several business clubs at ESADE.

Twelve years ago I joined my parents, sisters and few other family members and started working at our family-owned business. My family business, an R&D and manufacturing service provider owning 4 plants in my country, is my greatest passion and I see myself sharing my know-how with the members of the Family Business Club, as well as learn from their experience representing other family owned businesses from around the world.

Our family supported my father during difficult times of financial uncertainty as he was establishing his business. I grew up in a poor neighborhood with no financial stability, so I am well aware of the hardships of such life. As my father’s business became profitable, our financials improved as well. Knowing the challenges underprivileged people are facing, and being eager to help, I organized and took part in many volunteering events, such as soliciting donations for kids, renovating playgrounds and painting classrooms at schools. I see myself continuing to do the same at the Net Impact Club.

As I advanced in my career, I developed a greater interest in green energy. I enjoyed working on projects that were related to this topic. During my undergrad studies I wrote essays and presented this topic to the Entrepreneurship Club. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge as part of the Energy & Environment Club.

Throughout my life, my main recreational interests have evolved around sports: I was an amateur tennis player and swimmer, and I love watching football and supporting Barcelona F.C. However, while enjoying a variety of sports, I spent most of my time playing basketball. I played for 12 years until I was 18 years old and then chose to pursue academic studies over an offer I received for a professional contract from a number of basketball teams. Therefore, I can’t wait to play an integral part of the Sports Business Club.

After the MBA I plan to return to my family business, an R&D and manufacturing service provider owning 4 manufacturing plants in my country, and further develop the company and myself. As the next CEO, my mid-term career goal is to lead my family-owned business to become a stable international company, by penetrating strategic markets in North America and Western Europe, and surpassing our competitors on three major measures: the quality of our products, manufacturing lead-time, and competitive pricing while maintaining profitable growth.

In the long term, my dream is to drive the company to specialize in a smaller number of services, allowing us to gain a leading share in a larger market. I plan to focus on medical instruments and green energy, as I believe that these areas will be relevant for many years to come.

Completing an MBA will help me achieve my goals by acquiring the necessary tools required to manage a global business. Now is the perfect time for me to do so. On the one hand, I have gained several years of work experience. On the other hand, I am still at the beginning of my career and believe that an MBA degree from a world-class business school such as ESADE will help me develop an effective managerial style.

When researching different MBA programs I was looking for a small yet international program. With classes such as Doing Business Globally, Family Business Management, Innovation & Creativity, International Portfolio Management and many more, ESADE is the ideal program for me. I am looking forward to learning from Prof. Alberto Gimeno, director of the international family business lab. It suits me professionally and would provide me with the tools I need to reach my goal and realize my dream.

The areas that I continuously strive to improve on are persuasion, leadership, and analytical skills.

When I first took charge of one of my company’s ships as a Marine Engineer I realized I would need to have my proposals approved by senior officers during critical operations like Maneuvering, Cargo Loading, and Discharging. To gain support for my ideas I would need to earn their trust. Since I had no formal training in specific communication skills, I adopted the inspirational and motivating communication approach taught to me by my coach when I was the captain of school cricket team. During the weekly crew meetings I would take excerpts from the machinery manuals and make clear and concise presentations that would lend support to my ideas and gain their buy-in. By the second half of my tenure, they believed in my judgment on critical tasks so much that the Master and Chief Engineer entrusted me to lead the safety survey in Montreal, Canada. This strategy helped to build strong coalition with the senior officers on board and significantly improved my ability to make an impact on critical operations.

On my next ship, I had another growth opportunity as a leader after our vessel cleared an Oil Major Inspection held at BP Terminal Brisbane, Australia. Although the vessel cleared the survey with only a few minor failures, the surveyor expressed his displeasure about the maintenance of the safety equipment onboard. Upon reflection, I realized that instead of personally trying to maintain every piece of equipment, I should inspire the crew to understand the significance of the survey and motivate them to be thorough about their maintenance responsibilities. So, I made it my mission to instill a new safety culture onboard steeped in dedication, ownership and pride. I began by giving presentations on mishaps on other ships that occurred due to breeches in safety. I also took four crewmembers on a tour of a British Petroleum vessel at Fujairah, UAE, so that they could get a glimpse of the strong safety culture followed on BP ships. I’m proud to say, five months later, we cleared the US Coast Guard inspection with zero failures. The Coast Guard official remarked that the crew’s quick response during the safety drills and the high maintenance standards of the safety equipment onboard were the best she had witnessed in a long time.

Another aspect I have developed is my analytical ability. During a major malfunction of the propulsion plant at sea on my first ship, I realized my troubleshooting procedures lacked structure. Previously I would consider the myriad possibilities that could have led to the failure. After consulting with colleagues, I formulated an analytical rubric whereby I could analyze every problem by eliminating the simple possibilities first. Analyzing the simple possibilities first and ruling them out has saved a lot of time. When there was a major breakdown on another vessel I sailed later in my career, I utilized the elimination strategy and pinpointed the issue precisely, fixing it in time to avoid a potential delay in the vessel’s ETA.

Working in the Merchant Navy for six years has nurtured a strong passion in me for green energy. I worked on cargo ships transporting diesel oil, lube oil, and heavy oil across the oceans of the world. I’ve managed the safety checks at ports in the US and third-world countries, meeting their environmental regulations. By sharing my knowledge regarding the environmental threat posed by carbon fuels I can contribute to the Energy and Environment club. I have intimate knowledge of the strict international regulations that are to come into force by 2025 and efficient ways of transitioning to clean & alternate sources of energy. The club’s emphasis on synergies with other clubs like Sea Connection, a social club that connects and supports healthy, vibrant oceans, and the Net Impact Club has impressed me.

I can also add value and experience to the Latin America Business Club. My family owns a Teak wood export business in Panama. During my time away from the ship, I interacted with our clients in LATAM and India. We maintain a great rapport with teak export companies in South America and container giants like CMA-CGM. We ship almost 25 containers a month from Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia to India and Vietnam. We are also keen on expanding our business into Singapore. I can leverage these contacts and contribute to Latin America Business club by leading a class visit to the region or networking within specific industry segments through my connections.

Ever since childhood, I have been passionate about sports. Being a professional cricketer and a semi-professional tennis player, I believe that sports are essential in shaping one’s character and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sports are a great way to foster great relationships among peers. I look forward to playing an integral part in the Sports Business Club by hosting fun-filled meet-ups during Grand-slam Tournaments and coaching my peers to play tennis.

In the long run, I wish to be the Global Marketing Director of fuel business at a major oil company like BP to promote the use of eco-friendly fuels like hydrogen and develop products and services that help BP’s customers lower their carbon footprint. Hence, my mid-term goal is to head the national business for a company in the energy industry. This experience would provide not only  a big picture view of the company operations but also the cross functionality. I believe my post-MBA objectives will be realized with ESADE,

Working in the international shipping industry for six years, I led many operations, surveys, and sustainability projects. When I took charge of a fuel discrepancy project that required a client-centric approach to establish a strong relationship with our client, I had to work across functions negotiating with onshore officials from various countries. However, I lacked the negotiating skills required to improve our company services (operations) with our clients. I anticipate the ‘’Innovative Learning Experience’’ methodology of ESADE will be immensely helpful and I feel that an ESADE MBA would surely bridge this gap. In addition, electives like Negotiation Mastery, Eco-Efficiency, and International Business Strategy will teach me to better influence decision-makers by explaining my solutions through rational analysis.

After researching ESADE’s curriculum, I feel strongly that the Student First approach to teaching, the personalized attention from faculty and career advisors and the Marketing Lab specialization will propel me to my career goals not only by bestowing a strong skill-set needed to excel as a marketing manager but by bridging the gap between my pre-MBA and post-MBA jobs. In addition, the Exchange Program and Global Study Tour would enhance my Global Perspective. Moreover, the fact that over 50% of ESADE alumni live in the European Union could potentially lead to great networking opportunities to launch my career as a marketing manager.

After speaking to Akash Gupta, current student at ESADE, I think that I can bring a global perspective to the Energy and Environment club through my experience in the Merchant Navy. Taking into account my career goals and the global trend to transition into cleaner energy sources, I think it is the right time to pursue an MBA and launch myself as a key leader in the world’s endeavor to establish an eco-friendly environment.

In summary, I wish to pursue an MBA from ESADE because the collaborative community and the experiential style of curriculum will not only help to achieve my career goals but also make me a better leader, develop strong business acumen and elevate my skills to become a better professional in the future.

I am most proud of the moment when I took the initiative to step out of the engine room to fix a start failure alarm in the fire pump while pirates were chasing our ship.

We were 400 nautical miles off Somalia, heading south to Mozambique. On a Sunday morning, I received a call from the ship’s wheelhouse requesting maximum rpms and the start of all the fire pumps because three pirate boats were chasing our vessel. I immediately started two pumps but the third one wouldn’t start due to start failure alarm. This alarm had to be fixed locally and the pump room was on the main deck that was exposed to incoming assault from the pirates. Nobody from the engine room was willing to risk coming under fire, but the situation demanded swift action. Hence, I asked our ship guard whether he could divert the pirate’s attention from the port to the starboard side as the pump’s location was on the port side. He said he could, but warned that I would have very little time to reach the pump room without exposing myself to gunfire. Thanks to my training in the NCC ,I planned to army crawl once I was outside the engine room to avoid being noticed by the pirates. Amid the chaos, I reached the pump room and started the third pump successfully. Together the three pumps shot gallons and gallons of water at the pirates and two boats ultimately capsized. Eventually, they gave up their pursuit and I was able to thwart a hijacking by Somali pirates.

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